New Release: Aquarius at HOME

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

New Release: Aquarius at HOME Manchester, Manchester 24 March — 3 April 2017 Tickets from £5.00 — Book now

We open on the beach at night, a car stuffed with laughing young adults zooms across the sand, its headlights illuminating the scene as the engine roars. They stop and a twenty-something, short-haired woman named Clara tells her companions that she’s got a new song for them. She pulls out a cassette and the bass line of Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust kicks in. We’re in Bazil, 1980, or thereabouts, and life for these four individuals seems to brim with possibility.

Cut to the present day and Clara (played now by Sonia Braga) is a now retired, and widowed, music journalist still living in the apartment where she raised her children. It’s a fashionably lived-in space, with a hammock by a window overlooking the Atlantic and walls lined with books and vinyl records which she periodically takes down to play as her mood suits. Not that she lives in the past: she’s perfectly content, and even excited to receive a memory stick full of new MP3 files from her nephew.

Director, Kleber Mendonça Filho keeps the pace leisurely, as we live with Clara for a period; learning her loves, lusts and curiosities, and encountering the friends and family that orbit her. She’s living in a dangerous world though. Signs on the beach warn of the dangers of shark attack, her friend the lifeguard points out the drug dealers on the beach and the height of the waves, and her housekeeper recently lost her son in a hit and run.

Most sinister however, are the local real-estate developers who employ increasingly drastic means to try to buy her out of her apartment so that they might demolish the block for a larger tower. All of the other residents have already moved out, and the corporate entitlement – and ultimately corruption – depicted is all too believable, especially coming from the bratty, US-educated grandson of the developer’s director.

Braga is fantastic as the retiree who refuses to accept the label of “stubborn old woman” that others seek to impose upon her, and her performance helps to make Aquarius’ measured character study an absolute pleasure to bear witness to. Generous and open, the film is a potent anti-capitalist protest song, that – in addition to its anger and frustration – is also full to bursting with with music, love, sex and laughter.

New Release: Aquarius at HOME Manchester, Manchester 24 March — 3 April 2017 Tickets from £5.00 Book now

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Where to go near New Release: Aquarius at HOME

Indian Tiffin Room, Manchester

Indian Tiffin Room is a restaurant specialising in Indian street food, with branches in Cheadle and Manchester. This is the information for the Manchester venue.

The Ritz Manchester live music venue
Music venue
The Ritz

The Ritz was originally a dance hall, built in 1928, has hosted The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and The Smiths and is still going strong as a gig venue now.

Event venue

Homeground is HOME’s brand new outdoor venue, providing an open-air space for theatre, food, film, music, comedy and more.

Café or Coffee Shop
Burgess Cafe Bar

Small but perfectly-formed café – which also serves as the in-house bookstore, stocking all manner of Burgess-related works, along with recordings of his music. It’s a welcoming space, with huge glass windows making for a bright, welcoming atmosphere.

Rain Bar pub in Manchester
City Centre
Bar or Pub
Rain Bar

This huge three-floor pub, formerly a Victorian warehouse, then an umbrella factory (hence the name), has one of the city centre’s largest beer gardens. The two-tier terrace overlooks the Rochdale canal and what used to be the back of the Hacienda, providing an unusual, historic view of the city.

Bar or Pub
The Briton’s Protection

Standing on the corner of a junction opposite The Bridgewater Hall, The Briton’s Protection is Manchester’s oldest pub. It has occupied the same spot since 1795, going under the equally patriotic name The Ancient Britain.

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